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Debian etch (p)review


arctic
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I could do yes, I've been using Etch for the last month or so. Or at least the sid/unstable variant, since I wanted to ensure I had the latest and greatest :P

 

So my somewhat brief review no doubt - as I'm not really that good at writing stuff.

 

After trying somewhat many distros on my new lappy, I had a lot of problems trying to get distros working. When I finally tried Etch during it's testing phase, it just simply worked. I had to get used to it's workings, what with being used to rpm distros, and it wasn't that difficult. Difficulty is in the eye of the beholder and if you're prepared to be patient :)

 

I also have it installed on my desktop machine at work, as well as my desktop machine at home as well. The two systems at work are sid/unstable, and the one at home is stable - reason being is my internet connection is too slow to keep getting regular updates for the system. And it doesn't have to be too bleeding-edge.

 

I haven't really done anything special with it, simply use it as a desktop system. The native IBM Lotus Notes client works under Etch, providing you know the dependencies ;)

 

Has anything really annoyed me as of yet? Nope not really. I have all the functionality I need. The packages are available that I need, including proprietary drivers without having to go direct to nvidia for them and manually installing them.

 

I've not had to compile anything as of yet, it's all available through apt/aptitude. So it kinda keeps things nice and simple for me. Which is what I like :)

 

I've only encountered one problem so far, and that has been with my desktop system at home. I can be typing away on my system, and then for some reason, the X server stops, and restarts itself. I have to login again, and continue where I left off. Luckily I was in Firefox, so means that I can restart my session, and continue what I was typing. I have to look into this more at some point. It hasn't happened recently as of yet, and I've only experienced it twice. So maybe an update has fixed it, but I'll have to see for sure.

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For me Debian didn't load as fast as Mandriva. But my laptop is in serious need of more RAM, at least another 512 mbs since it only has 256 right now. Ouch, I know!

 

The true test will be when I install it on my desktop and compare it to gentoo. Now if only my new DVD-rw will get here so I can install it. :D

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One other thing I forgot - Debian isn't supporting WPA for wireless encryption. So you are kinda just left with WEP.

 

I had to change my access point and all other machines to using WEP, so that my Debian machine would be OK using WEP too.

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One other thing I forgot - Debian isn't supporting WPA for wireless encryption. So you are kinda just left with WEP.

I believe that depends on your wireless device? I'm left with WEP because of my Broadcom card.

 

Depending on your device, have you read and tried this:

http://svn.debian.org/wsvn/pkg-wpa/wpasupp...;rev=0&sc=0

 

From the wiki:

http://wiki.debian.org/WPA

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Bonus question: how is speed on Etch? I mean, does it boot fast, how much RAM does it use, do apps launch quickly etc. ?
Speed on etch is quite okay. It is a bit slower than Mandriva but only a few seconds in bootup and miliseconds when launching apps, so it doesn't really matter.

RAM is similar to Ubuntu (no surprise there). But it really depends on the DE/WM you use and the services you keep running/shut down.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm still impresed with Debian Etch. I'm still having some occassional wireless issues but so far I've been able to get it working again. I don't think anything will ever replace gentoo but if the day does come then it will be Debian.

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Excluding my bog standard Arch Linux, Etch is hands down the best Linux flavour available today: Easy, solid, lighweight, tons of rolled packages, everything tried so far working right out of the box. After Etch, testing Feisty had the feel of a failed experiment.

Hats off to Debian devs- they have done a terrific job.

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I'm currently using Lenny at the minute. Or sid at least until Lenny is released in the future as stable.

 

Been using lenny (testing) for a week or so on one of my older PC's & must say it's quite nippy. I'm now setting the same up on a spare drive on my main PC. If all goes well I 'may' start to use this instead of Mandriva but that's a big may cos my Mandriva install is rock solid - I think aptitude will be the clincher though. :)

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